Transforming digital banking in Africa with data centre colocation
A wave of innovative digital solutions has been sweeping across the African banking and financial landscape. For the first time, millions of Africans who have digital connectivity are now able to access remote banking and financial service, unlocking previously unobtainable opportunities.
According to the Partech Africa Report*, financial inclusion – expanding access to financial sources to a broader population – is the main investment sector in Africa. Africa is currently the continent with the largest annual growth in digital transformation. The International Monetary Fund has estimated that the internet penetration in sub-Saharan Africa has grown tenfold since the early 2000s, compared with the rest of the world which has experienced just a threefold increase. In 2018, Africa boasted nearly half of the world’s mobile money accounts with the continent expected to see the fastest growth in mobile money technology through to 2025. And over the past few years the number of tech hubs in Africa has grown by 50 percent. **
As Africa’s population becomes more reliant on digital applications, customers are coming to expect an ever-increasing level of personalisation and enhanced user experience.
For the banking and financial services sectors to implement complex and innovative digital deployment strategies to secure future revenue growth and remain compliant with changing regulatory structures, critical infrastructure and technologies need to be reliable, secure and, increasingly, must support data sovereignty and data provenance requirements.
In delivering a network of world-class, pan-African data centre services, Open Access Data Centres (OADC) is providing the African banking sector with that security and a compelling reason to revisit their deployment strategies, structurally review their cost base and operating models and embrace the shift to digital channels.
Outsourcing any mission-critical element of an organisation requires careful consideration. With OADC’s portfolio of carrier-neutral, open access Uptime Institute Tier III certified, hyperscale data centres at major cable landing locations and key business hubs throughout Africa, banking IT professionals now have more reason than ever to consider third-party colocation to address changing market conditions and the challenges and opportunities this creates.
There are many benefits to incorporating data centre colocation into an IT strategy, including:
- Redundancy and Uptime: when you collocate your data with a specialist data centre solutions provider, there is no need to budget for expensive contingencies to ensure continuity of service, such as geographic redundancy, duplicating power feeds, backup generators, cooling systems and connectivity.
- Opex vs Capex: Outsourcing colocation offers a cost-efficient and effective budgetary provision, moving the myriad of costs associated with delivering and maintaining in-house facilities and support to predictable operating costs. It creates opportunities to eliminate depreciating capital assets from the balance sheet – freeing up cash for investment in core business initiatives. OADC continually invests in the latest technology and efficiency solutions to keep its facilities at the forefront of industry capabilities.
- Professional Expertise 24/7/365: Dedicated, fully-qualified engineers monitor OADC facilities around the clock, every single day, and provide “Warm Hands” remote support capabilities to undertake routing testing and maintenance tasks on behalf of clients. OADC also has a highly-experienced in-house team offering advice on tailoring each client’s requirements to achieve maximum flexibility and efficiency, including guidance on workload migration.
- Compliance: OADC data centres are kept fully-compliant with all current and future standards such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA, SSAE-16 and HIGHTECH – removing another pressure on the IT team.
- Minimising Environmental Impact: Green issues are important to businesses and their customers. OADC has designed its data centre facilities with energy efficiency at their heart and is continually engaging with suppliers and clients to deliver improvements toward achieving its sustainability goal of operating Net-Zero data centres. It is in the process of obtaining Green Star Level 4 Sustainability; ISO 9001, 14001, 27001,45000, 50001 and PCI-DSS accreditation.
- Scalability: As we have seen in recent years, digital needs in the banking sector continue to change rapidly. Third-party colocation accommodates change, offering clients the flexibility to grow without consideration of current in-house IT restrictions.
With long-standing expertise in both data centre operations and supporting clients in managing their digital assets, OADC is driving the transformation of Africa’s banking infrastructure and setting new standards for efficient operations, excellence in delivery and client service – making it the smart choice of colocation partner for progressive banks.
*Partech Partners – 2020 Africa Tech Venture Capital Report
**Centre for Strategic & International Studies – Digital Africa: Levelling Up through Governance and Trade